Mike Krol’s show at The Bootleg was an all-ages gig. The type of show where the kids show up early to snag spots in the front row and hold those positions the whole night so they might get a chance to see an idol up close. As far as idols are concerned Mike Krol is a great one. A self-made creative who is as considerate as he is talented, humble as he is hardworking. Krol has just started his Power Chords Across America tour and although a number of dates are already sold-out or close to it, he still wondered if anyone would be at his hometown show in LA. They were. I saw Kroll play one of his first shows years ago in Milwaukee and I have seen him play several LA shows since but never have I seen the fandom that was expressed by the crowd of teenagers at the bootleg show. Before Krol went on a young girl behind me said to us that she had flown in from Germany to see him and as the lights dimmed she said to herself that her heart was beating so fast, she was just so excited.
Mike Krol is a completely DIY sort of fellow he assembles bands as need be this time with his girlfriend Allison Crutchfield on bass who he said only agreed to do the tour if Mike would forgo his usual costumes. He did however persuade her and Sean Lango (guitar), Brian Granillo (drums) Kyle Sobczak (guitar for the first half), and Elliott Kozel (second half) to get a bit bloodied to match the cover of his latest album Power Chords. There are a few kinks to work out like keeping mics plugged in as Krol strolls through the crowd, but the show had a great energy that lasted from beginning to end.
Opening the night were self deprecating Heflin who seemed a bit nervous to be playing out although the crowd was fully behind them. Their front woman explained to the youngsters that they were channeling a 90’s vibe and back then it wasn’t cool to say bands were cool or to like ones self. Vertical Scratchers fit in between although it seemed a lot of the crowd were unsure how to react to older dudes playing music.
One final point Mike Krol is known for his merch so buy it early ideally before the show starts. It seemed everyone that attended got in the line that snaked around the venue after the show and be patient…It’s not easy being a rock star that stills has to sell their own merch.
Words & Photos: ZB Images